GREENSBORO, N.C. — Halloween is right around the corner.
Even though the Halloween holiday can be a fun and exciting time for trick-or-treaters, it can also be dangerous.
According to Safe Kids Worldwide, on average, children are more than twice as likely to be hit by a car and killed on Halloween than on any other day of the year.
To make matters worse, the only thing scarier than zombies and witches loose on the streets is a drunk driver.
According to the latest National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report, there were 158 people killed in drunk-driving crashes on Halloween night during the years 2013-2017.
42% of those killed were in traffic crashes that involved at least one drunk driver.
The NHTSA is teaming up with local officials this year to help spread the message that "Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving."
Even one alcoholic beverage could be one too many for some drivers.
The NHTSA is reminding drivers to refrain from drinking alcohol and getting behind the wheel.
If you do plan to enjoy some witch's brew, be sure to arrange a sober ride home in advance.
State and local law enforcement agencies are offering the following Halloween Safety Tips for parents, children, and drivers:
- Motorists should be extra alert, and extra safe. Do not consume alcohol if you will be driving.
- Stay vigilant -children will be excited and distracted.
- Watch for children walking or running on roadways, medians, and curbs.
- Watch for children darting out from between parked cars.
- Enter and exit driveways and alleys carefully.
- At twilight and later in the evening, watch for children in dark clothing.
- Children are twice as likely to be fatally struck by a vehicle on Halloween as on any other day.
- Make sure an adult or an older responsible youth will be supervising the outing.
- Plan and discuss the route trick-or-treaters intend to follow.
- Know the names of older children's companions.
- Make sure older kids trick or treat in a group.
- Teach your children to stop only at houses or apartment buildings that are well lit.
- Remind trick-or-treaters to stay outside and never enter a stranger's home.
- Establish a return time.
- Tell your children not to eat any treats until they return home.
- Review all appropriate trick-or-treat safety precautions including pedestrian/traffic safety rules.
- All children need to know their home address and a parent's phone number.
- Remind children there are tripping hazards in dark yards.
- Hand injuries from pumpkin carving are one of the most common causes of Halloween ER visits.
- Children between the ages of 10 and 14 are at highest risk.
- Specially designed pumpkin carving knives may be safer than kitchen knives.
- Steady the pumpkin by holding it on top and carve from the top down.
Costumes and Masks:
- Use fire retardant material for costumes.
- Costumes should be loose to allow for warm clothing underneath.
- Costumes should not be so long that they are tripping hazard.
- Make sure shoes fit well to prevent trips and falls.
- Wear light-colored garments; if using dark fabric, add reflective tape for visibility.
- Masks can obstruct vision - use facial make up instead.
- If masks are worn, they should have nose and mouth openings and large eye holes.
- Use non-toxic, laboratory tested make-up that meets federal safety standards.
- Knives, swords, and other accessories should be made from cardboard or flexible materials
- Children should not carry sharp objects.
- Bags or candy sacks should be light colored or trimmed with reflective tape.
- Flashlights with fresh batteries will help children see better and be seen more clearly.
- Glow sticks and glow jewelry increase visibility.
- Feed children before they go out.
- Remind children not to eat treats until they bring them home for inspection.
- Wash fruit and slice it into small pieces.
- Throw away any candy that is not wrapped or has a strange odor, color, or texture.
- Do not enter a stranger's residence.
- Walk from house to house – don't run.
- Do not cross yards and lawns where unseen objects or uneven terrain can cause you to trip.
- Walk on sidewalks, not in the street.
- If there are no sidewalks, walk on the left side of the road facing traffic.
- Take your treats home and inspect them before eating anything.
- Don't litter.
Safety Thoughts for Trick-or-Treat Destinations:
- Keep live flames away from landings and door steps where children will be.
- Remove obstacles from lawns, steps, and porches.
- Turn on exterior lights.
- If you won't be home, ask neighbors to keep an eye on your residence.
- If you live alone, invite a friend over to share the experience with you.
- Watch for unhappy children in large groups – ask if they are okay or need help.